by Chris Robinson
No stranger to controversy during his 16-year career, former two-division champion Zab “Super” Judah was again in the thick of things last week in New York.
Participating in a press conference to officially announce his Feb. 9 challenge of WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, Judah was verbally taunted by the titlist’s outspoken father Angel, with a near brawl ensuing.
Now back in his adopted hometown on Las Vegas, Judah was adamant that Angel made the wrong move in trying to provoke him.
“It’s always business as usual, but I think that little mayhem is something that I needed to get motivated for this fight,” stated Judah on Wednesday afternoon as we spoke inside of the MGM Grand. “I don’t think it was a smart strategy move on Angel and Danny Garcia’s part. If I was fighting someone like myself, I wouldn’t wake them up, I would just play cool. But they woke me up. We’re ready.”
Garcia’s stock in the sport went up dramatically following his thrilling 4th round TKO victory over Amir Khan in July, yet to Judah, the 24-year old is just another face in the crowd.
“I’m kind of new about knowing about Danny Garcia,” Judah claimed. “I’m not going to lie, the first fight I’ve seen of him was the Amir Khan fight. I was actually supposed to go spar with him when I was fighting a right-hander but that never worked itself out.”
Garcia’s left hook has become a weapon of his in recent fights, as that exact punch is what dropped Khan for the first time while also serving as the finisher in his rematch with Erik Morales in October.
However, Judah doesn’t seem to see any kind of danger on his horizon.
“Listen, he’s flat-footed, slow, possesses some decent power,” Judah stated. “But when it comes to power, I’ve got more knockouts than he’s got fights. Who’s the bigger puncher here? This is my 53rd fight, I’m having fun.
“I’m not going to give away nothing about what my strategy is going to be,” Judah would continue. “But it’s going to be dope, it’s going to be epic. It’s going to be the Zab Judah that the world wants to see. The Zab Judah that the world is looking for. Put your magnifying glasses away, put your flashlight away, he’s coming straight to you, with a cape on his back.”
With a career mark reading 42-7 with 29 knockouts, Judah has bounced back from his share of rough defeats, the most recent being a 5th round stoppage at the hands of Khan in July of 2011.
The 35-year old Judah was asked where his perseverance comes from.
“God,” the Brooklyn native stated candidly. “This goes to everybody in the world. Don’t ever let man tell you what you can’t do. We’re all equal. Don’t let nobody tell you when you’re finished, when you’re over, because they put stuff in your head. You know when you’re over and you’re finished. “
We are two night away from one of the year’s biggest fights, as rivals Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will step into the ring for a fourth time on Saturday evening. After three extremely close and some say controversial meetings in which no clear winner was established, Judah feelings that it’s up to either man to finally establish some kind of supremacy.
“Every time they get in the ring it’s always epic, it’s always a big night,” Judah said respectfully of Pacquiao and Marquez. “I think both of their mindsets are knowing that somebody’s got to pull this one off. This is it. One of [them] has to go in there and state that [they’re] the king. Regardless of the outcome, I think it’s going to be an epic night. The guy I like is the winner and that’s who best suits me.”
Expected to sit ringside during Pacquiao-Marquez IV will be former lightweight champion Brandon Rios, who has a vested interest in facing either the winner or loser.
Rios’ wishes are understandable, yet Judah feels the brash upstart might want to reconsider.
“When you talk about Pacquiao and Marquez, you’re talking about two epic, legendary fighters,” said Judah. “Brandon Rios, he’s a fairly new guy and I would tell these guys ‘Take your time’. There’s a lot of fights out there. Just watch what you ask for.”